I finally found my sewing room again at the end of last week. Yes, just a few days before Christmas, I managed to steal some time for myself and just play around a little.
You might remember in a previous post I mentioned having the Queen Bees for a holiday luncheon and a card making session. Well, one of those lovely Queen Bee members left a little gift behind for me. I was delighted to find a pretty set of coasters.
The coasters were made following a pattern found at Cool Cottons . The pattern was familiar, because the Queen Bees had done this for a project at one of the bees in 2016, and during our guild luncheon in early December, everyone was given a little “kit” of fabric squares and the directions. My friend Dee, was so sweet to sew a set and give them to me. How did she know that I never “got around” to making some for myself. (I might have said something about that during the luncheon, as we were seated next to each other!) I remember that bee pretty well. We had a new member who was “learning” to use a rotary cutter and ruler, and I spent my time assisting her. I think my “test coaster” is still in the bottom of a busy box somewhere. Anyway, I love these bright cheery colors, and they inspired me to get busy and make some for gifts. I did another “test coaster” with the kit we got at the luncheon, and now the hubby has a cheery coaster on his hobby desk.
I deviated slightly from the pattern. I used 5″ squares. I also top stitched. (I like that they lay a bit flatter when they are top stitched). I used a charm pack of 5″ Christmas fabric squares, and then I went diving into my “scrap storage system” for more 5″ squares. I also dug into the scrap bin for more holiday fabrics. All said and done, I made 8 sets of 4 for gifts.
Two sets were already gifted before I got this photo taken! I love all the fun fabrics! I did 2 sets in spring fabrics. Check out the backs –
The pattern is fairly easy to follow, but if you are like me, sometimes a visual tutorial is handy. Today, I was browsing around on you-tube and found multiple “methods” for these type of coasters. Some use 1 additional piece of fabric, and they vary in size from 4 to 5″ squares as the basis for the coasters. Some don’t include batting, but I like a nice piece of batting inside to help with any moisture that might be on your glass.
One of the BEST tutorials on you – tube is with the Gourmet Quilter – Gourmet Quilter Tips and Techniques 002
Susan Claire gives such good instructions, and if you are a “visual” learner, this is a good one to watch.
I found another tutorial on you tube that had some variety in the way the coasters were made, so take a look at this video if you want to up your “style” a little – Craft Genie Folded fabric coasters . She starts you out with the style I made, but without batting. Then she ventures off onto other “shapes” that are quite fun. I hope you find her tutorial easy to follow also.
Post Christmas I was able to spend some time working with a panel that I was given. My dear friend Nancy B. picked out a panel for me when she was on a shopping expedition in Lancaster PA. I got busy and got it all cut up and made into a little story book for my youngest granddaughter. I used my embroidery machine to make a cover for the book.
and so forth. There were a lot of pages! Such cute designs for cities around the world. More pictures can be found in my FLICKR album – Sewing for the Grandkids
As I was working with this panel, I was challenged by the “stamping” of the fabric. Nothing on panels is ever square, so no matter how you “size” the piece, you might end up with a bit of white showing through. I didn’t want to cut off too much of the color so I went with the best possible size, and have touches of white peeking through. I don’t think the not nearly 2 child will care too much. This panel wasn’t designed to be made into a book, but that is what I chose to do with it. I was challenged by “how to assemble” it, and decided today to make buttonholes on each page and thread ribbon thru the buttonholes. I think the ribbon is securely knotted, and should hold up to the rigors of childhood. If not, I can always “thread new ribbon”. (I doubled it through the button holes so I am keeping my fingers crossed. The pages are assembled with a square of quilt batting in between the pages. It is completely washable, which I have learned, is a priority to my daughters!
I have several other panels out of the bins, waiting for me to get busy with them, and I think I might sew tomorrow afternoon too. I get to babysit for the recipient of this book tomorrow for a bit, and will send the book home with her.
I am enjoying these little projects that have been set to the side for a very long time. In the back of my mind my list of UFO’s is sitting, waiting for me to tackle them…..one at a time. Meanwhile, I have re-acquired the Second Time Around for the quilt guild, and have spent some time sorting through the donations. I think most of that is in good shape to take to guild on Jan 8th.
Of course, I still have over 40 boxes of stuff from my friend who moved to assisted living. I have been taking bits and pieces to her at her new apartment, and know that she is wishing she had it all. I’ve inventoried a dozen boxes, and labeled them. We are trying to figure out a way to get together at the assisted living facility and sew. I imagine making kits, already cut, for her will satisfy her for a bit. I tried to get the activities director to call me, as I would be willing to lead a small group at the facility. Perhaps after the first of the year, she will call so we can come up with a plan! If you have ever led a quilting group with “senior” senior citizens, please let me know what type of projects you worked on.
I hope you are able to stay warm where ever you are this night. Our temps were down to 14 deg fahrenheit last night, and never got above 25 deg today. Keeping my sewing room warm enough to work in out over the garage is tricky at best.